The Other Half Men’s shop recently hosted their grand opening in Bloor West Village.
The store is stunningly laid out, with a classy and diverse range of new products, from grooming accessories and masculine candles to sports collectibles and hacks for transportation modes.
Instead of your classic bare bones men’s shoppe, the options here are bountiful and true to their description as a men’s lifestyle shop. It was thought up by owner Andrij Harasymowycz, whose “vision was a “shop” that was part museum, part general store, and part clubhouse.” We have to say, we think he met that goal with resounding success.
In the front of the shop, cool, effortless bike accessories by Kikkerland fills one section. Whether its a sleek pocket pump, a repair kit, phone holder or essential wireless speakers you can attach to your bike, Kikkerland has your back.
On a nearby table, a display of candles and matchsticks by Skeem Design sits, offered in a variety of scents. Normally, candles in a mens shop would raise an eyebrow, but these bold and invigorating scents paired with handsome customized jars of matches might be the Christmas gift you’ve been looking for all year.
With a 50 hour burn time, the shop offers Warm Amber, Sweet Balsam scent, or a brighter Cedar and Citron. The tobacco and patchouli candle by Paddywax Apothecary is also a stand-out, and offered in a room spray variation. Lastly, the Torched candle line, which is made from recycled half-beer bottles, would be a sleek but edgy look lining any windowsill (try Woody Pine and Juniper)
They’ve also got your bartending game down pat – tumblers, and canteens by Corcicle line one wall. They also carry a carry-on cocktail kit for those dire too-long flights that you need to transform into a high-end speakeasy for under $20. Will you go Gin and Tonic, or Moscow Mule?
Moving towards the back of the room, we enter the grooming and social sections. A selection from Rockwell razors (who have totally re-engineered the old-school safety razor) and a couple of other artisanal brands that will keep you trimmed and moisturized.
An endless game/quiz selection from Ridley’s Game Room help elevate your social options from watching the game or playing Cards Against Humanity. Will you try their movie buff quiz, or foray into sports? They even have a food and drink quiz for you die-hard foodies out there.
While they, of course, carry the staples of a classic man, like pocket squares and cufflinks, one of our favorite aspects of the shoppe is their eco-friendly integration and social consciousness that rings true in many of their product lines.
Take their Daneson toothpicks, for instance. Not only do they feature a taste of Bourbon, Juniper, or Meyer lemon, but they plant 100 trees for each tree that they harvest, focusing on North Americans riparian areas that have been lost to early 20th-century logging.
Besides Rockwell’s grooming line, they also offer a similar line called Walton Wood Farms – their solid colognes are a must-try -are a sustainable brand aiming to help communities by bringing local jobs back, preserving historic icons, and bringing new life into rural communities.
And most importantly, their opening featured a collaboration with Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, who is in collaboration with White Ribbon working to eradicate violence against women. This inclusion showcases how the much-needed strength and empathy of male allies is urgently needed, in this day and age.
At the end of the day, you’ll feel like you raided your cool older brother’s closet without breaking the bank. Featuring high quality, curated brands with integrity at a believable price point is easier said than done, but Other Half Men’s Shoppe is off to a successful start.